In the Times: Calling all high school journalists

Last summer, a teacher at Waterford High School who was about to take a crack at her first journalism class approached me with an idea: “Would you have any interest in having a student written article in The Waterford Times?”

Yes, indeed, was my immediate reply.

“I’d love to get high school student journalists involved, and print many of their stories,” I told the teacher, Stephanie Kindel Hartell, in an email. “I think this would be a great service to the public and give the students something to be proud of, along with some professional clips for building their college resumes!”

I mentioned that a previous intern for the Times, Sapna Maheshwari of East Lyme, had gone on to another similarly titled newspaper: The New York Times. Another Times alumnus, Julie Wernau, is currently a reporter for The Wall Street Journal living in China, and just last year came to talk to my journalism class at Mitchell College.

Since Hartell wrote, I’ve visited Waterford High a couple times to talk about journalism and critique some of the work, and several students have seen their stories published, including at least one cover article.

Then similar things started happening in other towns. An East Lyme High School student agreed to write a story about the Viking band and, later, a student musician who won major recognition. A Montville High School student wrote another cover story on a technology program that was starting to take off.

This week, we are debuting in the Mystic and Groton papers a column written by the Groton schools superintendent, with the promise that articles from local students will be forthcoming as well.

It’s all been great, but I am hoping for even more during the next academic year. That’s why we are inviting high school teachers and students from throughout our coverage area to attend a tour of The Day at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, and then hear about how to contribute school-related articles and photos to the Times papers for our In The Schools feature (and meet some of the students who have written for us in the past).

We are looking for feature stories on students doing interesting things, teachers and administrators being recognized, athletic endeavors, artistic accomplishments and anything newsworthy.

So please consider coming to see us and learning how all of us together can improve coverage of local schools. To do so, please email your reservation in advance to times@theday.com, and put “Day Tour” in the subject line. You can also call me at (860) 701-4356.

We will have to limit the numbers to a manageable level, but will remain flexible to add another similar event in the future if there is enough interest.

Lee Howard is The Day’s community editor. His email is l.howard@theday.com.

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